Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is it me, or does it look totally to young?

Hi, I went by my B & M Jcrew last night to return the sunshine peony perfect shirt and had a good look around. I walked out with only the bateau striped shirt (I did buy it in both the carmel and pink stripe, already have the gray. I'm striped shirt nut but that's another post. Nothing else jumped out at me.

The this morning I was nosing around on the Jcrew site. Does it all look really young to you? The more casual skirts are so short! I tried to love the zebra print one but it was just to short. Nothing struck me as sensational and classy. I did put 2 of the suiting dresses in my cart but that's it. Not inspiring. I want to look smashing, not like I'm 20 years old. I felt American Eagle or Abercrombie were in the house. I'd be afraid I was getting to old for JCrew if I didn't see the cool sets on the JCS polyvore site. Those give me hope! The individual pieces may have potential but the presentation is leaving me underwhellmed. Thoughts?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pink and Green, Not Just Colors but a Mindset

I love pink and green, hands down my favorite combination. It's really the pink that does it. It shold come as no surprise that I also love Lilly Pulitzer. I've been pondering the effect this bright color has on this gray SF day. (I hear it's pouring outside but my office is on the interior of the building so I can't confirm this)

There is something about bright pink, it warms and brightens. And I mean everything from a raincoat to blush. In fact today I managed to wear by bright pink raincoat and a vintage pink and green Vera scarf. It makes my plae gray cardi and grey pinstripe pants not feel quite so dull. Really it just makes me feel happy, which I think is the whole point of a color.

Even inside, there is something about pink. I adore the images above and am planning to come up with a way to incorporate this. Hubby has always resisted the incorporation of pink. But this looks bright and cheery and not to in your face. What do you think?

Sunshine disapoints

Well I received my sunshine peony perfect shirt yesterday and I have to admit to disapointment. It is going back. It seems much darker and the predominant color is a mustard yellow. I had pictured a clear sunny yellow and a bright cheery pink. I admit that I look better in cooler, clearer colors and that someone who loves the warmer shades may love this. It was well made although the fabric felt thin and a size 8 fit me quite well. I've got my fingers crossed that the pencil skirt is the perfect thing of beauty I am hoping for!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pencil skirts go casual?

I've seen this topic recently on polyvore, wearing jcrew pencil skirts more casually. I must say I never really considered wearing mine with a tee and flip flops but it opens up a whole new range. I like it. Especially as I am eagerly awaiting the sunshine peony skirt! Mostly I have worn mine to the office with a blouse and cardigan. I saw a totally great set Ceve did on polyvore and I am inspired by it. Dina did a great one too with the new dot pencil skirt from our favorite place.

I'll let you know if I can pull it off. Hubby and I are going to take a rare date night and see Avatar tomorrow. We rarely go to movies in the theater but a combination of trying to give our sitter a few more hours a week so she doesn't leave us and the fact that we have both heard this just must be seen in the theater in 3d to be really appreciated has motivated us. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why I don't Get "Borrowed From The Boys"

"Borrowed from the boys" It seems to be on everyone's lips recently. You can't see Jenna Lyons anywhere without hearing this. Sorry Jenna, I'm a woman. I don't borrow from boys. At least not like that. I don't want to have messy hair, tons of necklaces and ripped pants. Nor will you ever see me in short socks and heels. To me that looks very odd. I want to look like a classy feminine woman who has style and class.

I keep coming back to class. I do have 2 fabulous sz 14 boys blazers from Brooks Brothers. Both cashmere, brass button classics, one in navy, one in a blackwatch plaid. Looks great with jeans, a white shirt and heels. That's my version of "borrowing from the boys".

I think that difference sums up my recent disapointment with Jcrew. I hear it on other blogs as well. Well made pieces don't have to be stuffy or boring. Heck even Talbots (which I have considered really dull in the past looks like it have stepped up their game). I find myself scouring ebay for classic Jcrew, not investing in the newer stuff. The set above is one I've used before but it represents what I would consider "borrowed from the boys". What do you think?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

It's Ash Wednesday. My little ones will go to services at their CCD this afternoon. I was trying to explain to them at breakfast what it means as a start to lent. All I got were horrified stares and exclaimations of "gross! ashes! like from the garbage can?" So I calmly explained that no, not cigarette ashed but church ashes. They felt better. I went up to the church near my office at lunch.

I've given a great deal of thought to what I am giving up for lent. I've given up a whole range of things in the past, from Starbucks to shopping to wine. I always used to give up bitting my nails as a kids. I've never been to sucessful at it. This year I am setting a big goal. No negative thoughts about myself. I'm very hard on myself and never feel that I a doing a good enough job, as a parent, a wife, an employee. So I'm going to fine myself a dime everytime I think or say a negative thing about myself. I have an empty jelly jar in my office and one at home. At the end of lent, I'll go shopping with the money and hope there isn't enough to buy myself something!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's amazing what a long weekend can do!

Ahhh, I love long weekends. I took Friday and Monday off as the kids had them off from school. What fun. We watch the Olympic Openign Ceremonies on Friday night. Saturday I took a long bike ride with my oldest son, then went horseback riding with my daughter. Sunday we went o church, baseball practice and then back to the barn. Monday we had lunch with my mother and sister plus cousins. A fun weekend all around. It was nice to spend time with the kids that isn't scheduled and overbooked. No pressure to be having fun. Just being together. It's what I miss most about working full time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Would Emma Wear?

I just found this blog and it is so fun. I had seen posts on the JCA ployvore group about would Emma Pilsburry wear and I was wondering to myself, who is Emma? I'm a late comer to Glee and didn't recognize the name. I love it! Her style is so cool and somewhat similar to mine. I love the bright colors and ladylike shapes. Don't even get me started on the shoes! To die for. Do you love Emma?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Visual Vacation

Well it's chilly and gray here in Northern CA and howling snow elsewhere so I thought I'd try and take you all on a visual vacation. Imagine somewhere warm and sunny, a tropical drink, cute flipflops and the perfect pink pedicure. No worries, no blackberry beeping. Thinking happy thoughts and dreaming of spring!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And the winner is!

Actually in a surprise finish the pecil skirt with heels has beaten the full skirt and flats as the choice most often made for office wear. I posted about this last week and my on going woes with these skirts and my feet. I poured over polyvore, looked closely at the women walking the streets of the San Francisco financial district with me and standing in line at Starbucks. Pencil skirts ad heels hands down.

Then in a final move, I tried on a multitude of outfits, shoes, tights etc and asked hubby what he thought. Blank stare, ok should have seen that one coming. Then I asked dear sis. Sisters will always tell it to you straight. I famously one time told dear sis when she came home from her freshman year of college that her a** was the size of texas. Cruel but true, hey she lost the weight really fast.

Anyway the upshot is that the full skirts are to short and sweet to look professional, especially in a big bank/brokerage firm where I work and especially when paired with flats. I am just going to have to deal with my feet by commuting in flats and wearing my heels at the office. I flat out refuse to commute in sneakers over tights. I get that it's comfortable, but like crocs, it offends my sense of style. Cute cushy flats I can do. So todays outfir consists of a navy pencil skirt from Banana Republic, white Elizabeth shirt and yellow michelle cardi worn with brown ribbed tights and brown boots. Better, I think!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Becareful all you East Coaster!

Careful all you East Coaster, be safe. Looks like you are about to get dumped on snowwise. Stay inside, warm and safe.

Back down to earth

I was so excited about that sunshine peony pattern that I lost all control. I did pre-order the skirt, the shirt and the cardigan. Three items, same print, over $300 with tax and shipping. Then this morning I became more rational. It's going to cost me $50 to have that skirt altered so add that in and it's not an office print so how much would I wear it. Really that's more than I can afford right now. I called back and just got the cardigan. I will wear that most. I can see it with navy or white cafe capri's, jeans, both the rhubard and yellow belle skirts and other things in my closet. Maybe when it is actaully released I will cave and grab the skirt too. Feeling more sensible and frugal today! Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stop the Presses!

I have more news on that gorgeous susnshine peony print! When I was pre-ordering it, the PS mentioned that there would also be a cardigan and a button front perfect shirt in the same print! She skirt will be $88, the cardigan $98 and she couldn't tell me the price of the blouse. I caved and ordered all three. My guess will be that the skirt won't fit and it will go back but love the print for teh spring and summer. Obviously I won't wear all three together but they will go great with items already in my closet. Now I am glad I sent those other skirts back!

Now this is pretty!

Ok this is my next Jcrew purchase! I saw it in the People StyleWatch magazine (a guilty pleasure) and emailed my personal shopper about it. It is called the Sunshine Peony Pencil Skirt, item # 22591 also known as the Cezanne Skirt and will be avaliable in mid February. In spite of my issues with their pencil skirts, I had to have it and pre-ordered it. She also mentioend that they are going to have a pencil skirt in that pretty watercolor print the collection dress is in in March. Finally, some pretty colors!

One, Two, Three strikes and you're out!

Well my Jcrew order came last night. Totally excited I tore into the package and disapointment ensured. The only piece I loved was the striped boatnecked shirt. I ordered in in slate but might go back and get the beige.

First, the napolitaon (sp?) skirt. It was just to bad for words. I thought the print was pretty and the material nice but a disaster on. It was to big the waist, to tight at the hips and to long. Strike one and back it goes.

Then came the stretch cotton pencil skirt in papaya. Better fit and great color, I thought it was a keeper until I looked in the rear view mirror. It was the "swanbut" skirt. I just couldn't get into the curved seams. While I certainly wouldn't class my fanny as my worse feature, I'd rather not draw that much attention to it. Strike two and back it goes.

Next up was the wool scarf in the papaya floral print. Well they sent the wrong scarf. The one in the package was the pink and grey version they also made in the mini skirt. It was pretty but I wanted the other one. Actaully customer service from Jcrew had already left me a message and apparently this was their mix up. The correct scarf is on its way and they are pating for the return shipping for the wrong one. Happy about that but it's still Strike three!

I guess I will have to actually make a trip to my B & M this weekend!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A "what is Jcrew thinking" moment

I have to say I really liked the most recent cataloge set in Portugal. I love the destination shots. Paris is my all time favorie and Scotland right after that. Still this item made me scratch my head. The painted scout chino, what is up with that? They cost over $70 and have holes and paint spatters. I don't know about you, but I throw my pants away when they look like that. I might keep them for painting I guess, or heavy duty yard work. No way would I wear them out of the house where someone might see me. My sister says that's a sign I'm getting old but I have to disagree. I've always been one of those people who gets dressed. Even in law school when we were studying for the bar and some folks used that as an excuse to spend a summer without showering or putting on real shoes. I like to look pretty and clasic and feel better about myself when I do. I am not edgy. I just don't get why you would pay extra for pants that look like they shold be thrown out.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pencil Skirt vs. A-line?

I have been having a closet war lately. The pencil skirts are fighting the fuller a-line. I'm not sure who is winning. One one side you have the Belle Skirt from Jcrew fall 2008 (I think). This was a great skirt for me. It was long enough, came in great colors (I own the deep atlantic, the rhubard, the fog, the honey glaze and the sketchbook rose print) and most importantly set off my tiny waist.

I should break here to explain that my shape could best be described a pear. I am somewhat narrow on top and can wear a 6 or an 8 top. My waist is small but I have rounder hips. (three kids remember) I usually wear a 10 bottom.

The other side of my closet is the pencil skirt look I have tried to adopt since going back to work in the financial services industry. Jcrew pencil skirts are my favorite, naturally. They don't fit me well though. If I get them to fit over my hips, they are huge in the waist. Enter the alterations lady. I have a great one and have mananged to get three ones that fit well enough.

The quintessential dilema is this, the pencil skirt and heels look is the one I love conceptually. In real life, it's not so good on me. Add to that the fact that I have terrible arthritis on ankle, planter facistis and bunions. Yes, my feet are horrible. This means I am really more comfortable in flats. Flats don't look good with pencil skirts.

On the other hand, I struggle to make the fuller skirts and flats look office appropriate but must admit I look better in the black merino turtleneck, deep atlantic belle skirt, black tights and boots than I do in the pencil skirts.

Since one of my goals I wanted to acheive before I turned 40 was to finally accept my body as it is and not as I wish it was, I think the pencil skirts are losing the war.

What do you think? Do you have any tips for making these fuller skirts look more professional? My office is sort of 1 step up from business casual. Thanks, and may the best skirt win!